Her school also bought an iPad 2 to raffle away to students who entered by choosing a healthy breakfast yogurt parfait and turning in tickets attached to the bottom. She tempted kids to try unusual flavors by giving out "Fear Factor Smoothies" including unexpected ingredients such as spinach. Sardeson said schools can be persuaded to invest more in nutrition promotions because the payoff is better students.
"We get a lot of feedback from teachers that behavior problems are way down because the kids are eating right," Sardeson said.
Educators are coming around to recognizing value in having better school food, Mechura told the cafeteria workers.
"Food is one of the most important influences on your everyday brain cells," Mechura said. Healthy eating habits, she argued, is as important as everything else schools are trying to teach.
"We have to change," Mechura said. "We have to build an environment that creates excitement about what we are doing rather than fear of new foods."
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School Nutrition Association: http://www.schoolnutrition.org
USDA sample school lunch menu: http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Governance/Legislation/cnr_chart.pdf
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